New Species Identified in Burnside

An inhabitant of Burnside’s reserves and wetlands, a native frog has recently been classified as a new species.

Thanks to scientists with the Australian Museum and community amphibian enthusiasts associated with the FrogID Project, the Brown Tree Frog (Litoria ewingii) native to south-eastern Australia, has been found to consist of three geographically isolated species, not a single species as originally thought.

Found along the southern parts of NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia, the Brown Tree Frog can be found thriving in urban gardens and parklands.

Following the study which included audio analysis and DNA testing, the Australian Museum found the three species evolved from a common ancestor over two million years ago.

Two recordings from the FrogID project, recorded in the City of Burnside, were used in the acoustic analysis for the project – one from an unknown property near Bell Yett Reserve and another from near Willowbridge Reserve.

The two newly classified species are the South Australian Tree Frog (Litoria calliscelis) which is found in the Mount Lofty Ranges, Fleurieu Peninsula and Adelaide coastal plain (including Burnside) and the Kangaroo Island Tree Frog (Litoria sibilus), which as the name suggests, is found solely on Kangaroo Island.

Kensington Gardens and Magill Councillor Kerry Hallett is a member of the FrogID Project and said frog population growth in the area was a positive sign.

‘It is a sign the water is clean and the environment is flourishing.’

Cr Kerry Hallett at Kensington Wama. Inset: South Australian Tree Frog (Litoria calliscelis).

Inset image credit: Tom Hunt via iNaturalist.

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